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tv   [untitled]    July 20, 2010 10:30am-11:00am PST

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the other item included in this scope of work, which was scheduled for the delivery of this product, and we told the committee that because we had succeeded in getting a benefit analysis, we were getting ready to recommend action on this item in june to give the board more of a number to need to have more deliberation. at the june meeting, we therefore brought forward recommendation of approval for the measures on the ballot. we conducted a poll in it march and it showed the poll being -- about being approved by 66% of voters. we thought that the matter should be placed on the bell from that. after some time, we tested and that measure against several
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revenue measures that were known or expected to somehow make an appearance on the november ballot, including the state parks thfee, and at the time we also had a couple local measures, a school measure and a teacher resources measure. when the committee reviewed the information in june, it felt it did not have sufficient information to gauge the priority of this measure against other potential measures for the ballot. in june, there was another set of measures that had been introduced to the board of supervisors. we tested the measure again for potential revenue-generating measures. that is what you have before you today. the measure continues to get support in the 60's. consultants who advise us to say
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that it is garnering support that is statistically unchanged from the previous poll. so at this point, i think we have provided you with the best information we will be able to. i realized there are some issues related to the polling of other measures. we have had questions from the committee which were answered about the sodality of polling. of course, we have attorneys with us here to repeat the information. the essential answer is that it is perfectly legal and there is history in california to corroborate. there is no problem with the expenditure from a legal standpoint. the expenditure of public funds to vet the viability of the measure before it is placed on the ballot. of course, the dividing line is once it is on the ballot, public
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money would become a problem, but we are not there yet. commissioners, that is the overall process on this measure. there is a small consideration that i have to put before you. there is a measure backed by the california chamber of commerce and other groups which has qualified for the balance with 1.1 million signatures called stop it in taxes, and that would take any user fee in california and reclassify it as a tax. the immediate effect of that proposition on this sb 83 licensed feet would require two- thirds majority to pass. it will be an issue in the next
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election if that measure ends of succeeding. it will create a big problem for any other measure of that sort. i draw the distinction there between user fees and a tax. this is a user fee, and that is why it only has the 50% threshold for passage. another thing i want to point out, we have been engaged with other agencies in the county. napa has opted out, but all eight others are serious about moving forward to put the measure on the ballot. we expect contra costa county to vote as well. marin county has already voted.
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the benefits of having the transportation community focussed in this manner, in a joint effort, it is it takes away any potential advantage of one company over another for not having this thing. of course, the other benefit is that there would be an awareness about the region that this is the first new transportation revenue source authorized by the state in almost 20 years. so we would get the benefit of the press, moving forward. that is something that would be needed. if the polls are correct, this measure may not gather a two- thirds majority. any degree of awareness that we can garner from regional efforts would certainly be helpful to
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the measure. commissioners, that is as short a summary as i can give you on this issue. we have consultants from emc research, who conducted these polls. these are the ones that did the reallocation of prop k. you may remember that we were able to generate a 75% vote in november. they have a presentation no longer than five minutes that i would like to give you to wrap up this item. >> supervisor daly: just a quick question. let me start by saying i support moving forward with this measure to the ballot. as a representative to the mtc, i think you are correct when you
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say that most attorneys in the region are also moving in this direction. that is something that has been discussed at other regional transportation bodies. i know emc did the research in 2003. i am wondering this time around how they were selected? i know that we were already getting pushed back about an out-of-county agency. >> this went through a competitive procurement. in fact, we brought them on board in march. this was awarded by the finance committee. supervisor daly: maybe for the consultant, how did we select
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a language, in terms of the questions, the actual language on the measures? >> essentially, a quandary with measures that are not already approved for a ballot is what to consider the official language. we used the language that was used in the measures to introduce them to the board of supervisors for local measures. for state measures, we had a line with an already been through the legislative process. there was no issue with that. we do recognize emphatically that the fundamental purpose of doing something like this is to place this measure in the context of a more realistic ballot with other revenue- generating measures to create, if you will, a worst-case
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scenario. we realize that every measure is likely to be on the ballot. but in that sense, what is important is not so much of the individual measures, which is why there was no polling on the individual measures, but more on the context they create. normal procedure would be to randomize the questions but we wanted to give you the worst possible scenario. after you have all of these other options, we revealed this one that we're interested in, of course without reviewing -- revealing that. we recognize that language for measures that have not been finalized could very well trained. so the bottom line is, this poll does not tell you anything about the measures but the influence
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on the measures that we are dealing with here on s p three. to that point, the consultant can address it further. there is a strong, statistical value to this. in march, we had different set of measures. the fact that the number did not change from march to july shows that we are statistically correct. it does not say anything about how the other measures could poll once the language is finalized. but it does say something significant about house support -- stable the support is for sb 83. supervisor daly: i am much less a believer in polling, the
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impact of other items, then i am about the impact on the campaigns that are run. i wonder why there was no testing of the impact of the arguments on the measure we discussed. emc will understand this, but typically, you would have a question, pushed for and against, see how they would impact up or down the impact of our question. i wonder why we did not move in that direction? supervisor mirkarimi: does that have prop k funding as well? >> the contextual strength of the measure, absolutely. the testing of the question, commissioner, was done in a larger set of questions that the
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consultant can explain. those questions are in your packet. whether the fee would be applied to the general fund, department of transportation, whether it could be used for transportation purposes only. there was some of that. i think you should hear from the consultant. the answer to that question in the details on the pole itself, how it can support the case for placing this on the ballot. supervisor daly: one final question. i think you are talking about questions 15 through and that is kind of what i'm talking about but not exactly. 12, 13 caught my attention. 12 reads, "taxes are high enough.
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40%. it is crucial to have quality streets, even if it means taxes." it looks like a majority someone agreed. i understand voters can take two different things at the same time, but that caught my attention. the delta between i am not going to vote for anything and i will vote for that. >> you are asking key questions. on the issue of for or against, testing the limits of interest in sb 83, we did some of that in a march poll. we found support was solid for the measure, so instead we
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focused on the issue of the untouchable competition with other measures which is something that we fell in the committee was most interested in. we did look at the measure of pushing back and forth on the characteristics of the measure in the march poll. we do have that questionnaire. what we found, essentially, was that we had a solid base of support. when we tested the language without education, we were getting 69%. after, 67%. it was still a home run, in terms of how people perceived it. there is a tremendous awareness about the pent-up demand for transportation improvements. as you recall, the expenditure plan approved by the stakeholder panel include half of the money going to street resurfacing. we have this amazing phenomenon
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now where even the bikers want resurfacing money. the streets have deteriorated to the point that they are not safe for anyone. so we are seeing this groundswell of support in the public is beginning to noticed this. anecdotally, if we were to have this measure approved by the voters, it would allow us to double the amount of money that we get for st. reserves. i do not know that the public necessarily knows that intuitively but they see a need for improvement, and this should provide some belief. >> is it ok if we -- supervisor mirkarimi: is it ok if we hear from the consultant? would you like to ask her question now? supervisor daly: what month was the original poll? >> is coco work was approved in
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december 2009, and that included the two polls. the first one was done in march after we consulted the board. the second one was done at the end of june, july. we had the fourth of july to contend with. supervisor daly: i am going to withhold my comments. supervisor chiu: i would like to make some introductory comments to freemont we will be hearing. many of us read in the newspapers today there are many of us here who believe this poll was extremely ill-advised and poorly designed. i am frankly disappointed that someone has moved forward on a plan that, frankly, was looking for results before they got them. let me use some examples, a
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question that tests showed the ta have been aimed vehicle registration fee that would reduce pollution from trucks, improve transit reliability, making sidewalks safer for pedestrians and bicyclists? this sounds like apple pie. other polls that i have seen show different results. i'm disappointed at the characterization of other measures we are considering at the same time. supervisor avalos has a proposal that would increase the property and transfer tax on properties greater than $5 million. here the whole question read, should a san francisco increase this tax on companies, etc. it is confusing. the polling question related to my measure does not refer to the fact that my measure would reduce the payroll tax, which is
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in the description and language of my measure. if my measure murdered described in the same way that this tax work, it would probably read something like this. should the city of seven tesco cut the payroll tax for small businesses, create hundreds of private sector jobs and bring in $30 million of revenue necessary for public safety and public services, at the end of the day, colleagues, regardless of what we hear from the polling firm, it is clear this was an instrument that had a specific design in mind. i do not think it further is what we want to in the city and i just want to say that at the outset before we hear the presentation. >> i think there were other pulls out that looked at that question. those were not the only two measures. >supervisor chiu: understood.
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most of these questions were incredibly vague and bias. >> emc research will be giving you a presentation. part of that is already on your desk. supervisor mirkarimi: you have to speak right into the microphone. >> i am a principal with cmc research. thank you for your presentation. i will take you through the results of the poll we just completed. this was a fairly short ball, so i will go through it quickly. this is a standard poll that we do for other revenue measures. as was explained, we did a baseline poll in march that asked other questions. you have seen the results of that. i am happy to answer questions on that poll as well. this was a really a very short track to do a few things.
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first on methodology, we did do 510 randomly selected interviews. we did offer the survey interlanguage is, english, spanish, and chinese. this is unbearable to other polling that we have done on other revenue measures. the context of this poll, it is a tracking poll. to see whether or not things have changed since march 2010. i think you will remember that back in the spring we started to ceasee improvements in the economy. although that we are seeing some, it is not as much as we had hoped. so we feel like we wanted to go back to ask about a revenue measure. also, as we noted, we asked
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about other revenue measures on the poll we did in march. but given that things have changed, voters had been given a fairly long list of the revenue measures to vote on, and we wanted to put this in context and to bring this back to you to see how this would fare in the context of other revenue measures. we also wanted to see whether or not it would reach two-thirds coming given the situation that it may have to meet that, if the november measure passes statewide. we also wanted to look at a future vehicle registration fee measure which had been talked about in the future. we wanted to ask some questions about that. first, we asked about perception of need. we also asked this question in march.
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we asked if there was a need for transportation improvements. it is probably no surprise to you to see that san francisco voters are very aware of the need. 80% say that there is some need. clearly, we do not have to explain to voters a lot about the need for the money. we do ask -- first i will show you the comparison to march. the vehicle registration fee measure, the language that was tested has been marked on by the cta to develop a language that would appear on the ballot. that is what we wanted to test. we received 62% of voters saying that they would vote yes. statistically, there came from the 66% we had in march.
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to show you the context of how we asked this, the goal here was not to test the other measures but to give voters the idea, the fatigue that they will feel when they see the ballot. you have all seen it. you go to the ballot and you see, i have to make a lot of decisions. we wanted to simulate that in the poll. we looked at the likely state ballot measure. then me read a series and randomized a series of measures that had been talked about as possibly appear on the ballot. again, this was not designed to test each one in death, but to
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give the voters a context. at the end of that, they have this $10 vrf. and went again, 60% of voters voted yes after hearing all of that. we do feel confident, as we did in the march poll, we do not see statistical change. what we have concluded from this is that is where our best level of support is on this measure regardless of what is on the ballot. we then asked about potential 2012. then we asked to look into the future. there is possibly a vehicle license fee from 1.5% to 2% of the market value of the vehicle or trailer. fairly cut and dry measure. may not appear in this way on
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the ballot. we were testing the driest language. you can see in comparison, the vrf measure talking about where the money would be used. this is fairly cut and dried and we still have good support. one of the things we are trying to gauge is whether or not passing something that would impact the ability to raise other revenue in the future. our feeling is although it is only 50% support, if that language could be improved, to make it more appealing to voters. one of the things we wanted to look at -- we are looking at this for 2012. what is the revenue that will be used for transportation projects? we had a high awareness of the need for transportation projects. now we start to see voters be
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more divided on this. we have no idea what this measure would ultimately look like. this would be an addition to the $10 registration fee. we did not point out that it would be in comparison, but they had already heard about the measure. when we actually said it would be on top of the $10, 42%. but we know a lot will change in two zero years. voters will be asked to vote on a lot of things. we do not expect it will be put that way. when we go to the general fund, we get the lowest levels, but otherwise, we get high levels of approval. so what we see is there seems to be good support for the vehicle registration fee. even when we put into this context of a lot of other revenue measures, it appears to be stable.
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that is what we saw in march when we presented arguments in favor, a series of arguments that opponents might say we continue to see the support level stay above 60%. we do not think that the passage will ultimately affect the chances of a 2012 measure. given our experience and the polling that we have done, given that support today is at 50% even when we used the driest language, we do not feel like in will have a huge impact. i think there is a unique opportunity to put this on the ballot now, the opportunity to have a new revenue source, and other counties will be doing this as well. supervisor mirkarimi: is that it? that include your report? >> yes, i apologize. we can take any questions. supervisor daly: i certainly
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hope the transportation authority would act to place this on the ballot. i think it is irresponsible step to have polled this measure and recognize, for this cost, we will encumber a $400,000 cost to put this on the ballot. we will have to pay for ballot- making and other things that we do not usually pay for. i think it is possible to look for the context and the measure. senator mark leno has been very vigorous in trying to get restoration of vehicle license fees to try to make it possible for our city and county to vote to restore that. that path has been blocked consistently. i respect president to come also as a member of the board of supervisors, advocated for a. still, we have the opportunity
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to put a measure on the bill that would allow us to fund programs that include repairing local streets and roads, improving liability, pedestrian safety improvements, smart traffic signal technology to prioritize transit, and manage traffic incidents, programs that encourage people to use more sustainable forms of transportation, transit bicycle carpels, and all of the programs have to have some benefit to those individuals paying the fee. the expenditure plan contains printable among other objectives focused on funding smaller-back products that will coakley provide tangible benefits, provided their geographic distribution that takes into account the various needs of san francisco's neighborhoods and insure accountability and transparency every year. the aeschylus and others who are